Weekend Ideas: August 29, 2014

Labor Day weekends tend to be slow for concerts, but a couple of festivals and a Fenway Park show bolster this year’s landscape. For starters, there’s Campfire, a Club Passim marathon of dozens of sets from Friday through Monday, featuring veterans like Jennifer Kimball (ex-the Story) and former Treat Her Right frontman David Champagne as well as up-and-comers. Here’s the Campfire schedule.

Down in Charlestown, R.I., zydeco and Cajun music still enliven the multi-stage Rhythm & Roots Festival at Ninigret Park with the likes of CJ Chenier, Steve Riley and Terrance Simien. But performers also include roots-rockers Donna the Buffalo celebrating their 25th anniversary, heartfelt R&B survivor Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires (maybe worth the trip alone), bluegrass rockers Leftover Salmon with Little Feat’s Bill Payne, and elusive troubadour Jim Lauderdale. There’s also a Family Stage, plus the daily Mardi Gras parades with the Hot Tamale Brass Band. Here’s the website for Rhythm & Roots, which lasts Friday night through Sunday. On Saturday afternoon, up in Newburyport, there’s also the free Riverfront Music Festival sponsored by 92.5 The River, this year featuring worthy locals Will Dailey (celebrating his worthy new album National Throat) and Air Traffic Controller, plus acoustic act (and One Direction songwriter) Jamie Scott, stylish folk-rockers Delta Rae and reborn pop hitmakers Toad the Wet Sprocket, who’ve been around ocean themes before. Here’s the website.

But Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers headline the weekend’s big show at Fenway Park on Saturday night behind their chart-topping, riff-rich new album Hypnotic Eye, which deserves the live airing of a few tracks like this. Should be a great night of classic rock in the ballpark, especially with Steve Winwood as an opening act.

Alas, the also-classic pairing (especially for guitar fans) of ZZ Top and Jeff Beck at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion has been cancelled because ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill fell in his tour bus and injured his hip. Maybe it’s rubbing salt in the wound, but for my Thursday Throwback, I’m going back a few weeks to ZZ Top jamming one of their biggest hits with Beck, a virtuoso who’s always welcome back with his own band.

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